One killed in fiery 178 crash

One killed in fiery 178 crashBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Authorities responded to a collision on Wednesday morning in Inyokern, one that claimed the life of an unidentified female. At press time, the identity of the deceased had not yet been released.

According to a release from the California Highway Patrol Mojave office, the unidentified sole occupant of a 2002 Honda Accord was traveling southbound on Brown Road where preliminary reports indicate that she failed to stop at the limit line, crossing into the intersection with State Route 178. A fuel tanker truck carrying 8,200 gallons of fuel, driven by a 35-year-old male, was traveling east on the 178 and unable to avoid a collision with the Honda. The Honda struck the left rear of the fuel tanker and was dragged several hundred feet before the vehicles came to rest.

The driver of the Honda reportedly sustained fatal injuries and both vehicles became engulfed in flames with black smoke visible from all over the valley. The driver of the truck was uninjured and Kern County Firefighters extinguished the flames before the situation escalated further.

The collision occurred at approximately 10:38 a.m., but the stretch of SR-178 remained closed through the evening as the fuel from the tanker needed to be removed before any cleanup began. Other responding agencies included the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, CalTrans and Liberty Ambulance.

The preliminary investigation was unable to determine if drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor in the collision. CHP is seeking the public’s assistance and request anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact CHP Mojave at 661-823-5500.

Pictured: Kern County Firefighters at the scene of Wednesday’s crash in Inyokern. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2020-03-20